Turqueza tops Battle of GMs semis (Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – FIDE Master Mari Joseph Turqueza drew with International Master Joel Pimentel and then beat National Master Ruel Abelgas via tiebreaker to clinch the 2015 National Chess Championship semifinals at the PSC Dining Hall on Vito Cruz, Manila Friday night.

Turqueza, a 22-year-old member of former NCAA champion San Sebastian, and Abelgas, who split the point with NM Jerad Docena on top board, actually ended up tied for first with 7.5 points apiece in nine rounds but the former ended up with the higher quotient score to clinch the crown.

Turqueza, who topped the ASEAN Age group Under-20 title four years ago, along with Abelgas thus advanced to the main event the Battle of Grandmasters set in September at this same venue.

Among the country’s top chessers joining the Battle of the GMs are Eugene Torre, Oliver Barbosa, Mark Paragua, John Paul Gomez and Julio Catalino Sadorra.

Top pick IM Haridas Pascua turned back untitled Christian Arroyo to clinch solo third place with seven points.

Docena and Pimentel wound up with 6.5 points apiece, good for fourth and fifth places, respectively, in this tournament sanctioned by the National Chess Federation and backed by the Philippine Sports Commission.

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Rounding up the top 10 with six points each were FM Narquinden Reyes, IM Chito Garma, NM Giovani Mejia, FM Jony Habla, Franz Robert Grafil and IM Barlo Nadera.

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